Archive for March 7th, 2012
Boston, March 7, 2012– The Boston Opera House is a striking example of the finest theatre architecture set in opulent French and Italian styles. Originally constructed in the late 1800s but extensively renovated in 2002, the 2,677-capacity theatre has been the sole performance venue of Boston Ballet since fall 2009 and was originally constructed as a tribute to vaudeville’s greatest impresario: Benjamin Franklin Keith. As a credit to both the original design its recent painstaking renovation, the Opera House is nothing short of stunning, featuring outstanding acoustics and superb craftsmanship throughout.
Recently, this landmark performance facility took its breathtaking natural acoustics one step further by installing a discrete and ultra-compact K-array sound reinforcement system for the Boston Ballet, customized and painstakingly finished to match the luxurious décor of its interior. The system, designed and installed by Talamas Broadcast Equipment, includes Sennheiser distributed K-array KK100 and KH15 speaker arrays plus KL18 and KS4 subwoofers, together with KA10 and KA40 Class D power amplifiers — all of which have been installed to maintain the visual and sonic integrity of the original space.
Nick Jabour of Talamas Broadcast Equipment, a Boston-based company serving the audio and video needs of New England’s film, television and broadcast production industries, worked with Boston Ballet’s Ben Phillips, production manager and technical director, and Benjamin Young, sound designer, on the design of the system. “There are three KK100 vertical arrays on each side of the proscenium arch,” explains Jabour. “Those are primarily for the orchestra level and the first few rows of the balcony.”
To allow shading of the coverage patterns of the KK100s, two arrays are driven from each channel of a KA10 amp. The KK100 is an ultra-slim vertical line array comprised of multiple two-inch neodymium transducers in a stainless steel chassis. Two KL18 subs, which each feature an 800W, 18-inch driver, are positioned below the left and right main arrays to provide low frequency reinforcement.
Flown systems provide additional coverage of the orchestra and balcony seating sections of the 2,500-capacity theatre. “There are two KH15 arrays and a KS4 sub array on a truss that’s flown above the downstage lip of the stage,” says Jabour. “The KH15s mostly cover the balcony. There’s another KH15 positioned behind the KS4 pointing straight down at the orchestra level to complete the stereo image.”
The self-powered KH15 is an ultra-compact two-way line array that provides consistent 120-degree horizontal coverage. The self-powered, ultra-compact KS4 subwoofer offers a unique dipole figure-8 coverage pattern capable of delivering very high SPLs.
Talamas worked closely with power distribution specialists Motion Labs and Sennheiser, exclusive distributor of K-array products in the U.S. and Mexico, on the unusual A.C. power set up for the system. “KA10s and a KA40 amplifier power the KK100s and the KL18s,” Jabour elaborates. “The KA10 and the KA40 amps are being run at 120 volts, but so that we could use a more standard style cable for the power run to the truss we run those speakers, which are self-powered, at 230 volts.”
The theatre’s acoustics were originally designed to deliver the spoken word to every seat in the house in an age before microphones and amplifiers. “So Boston Ballet wanted something that they could use very, very subtly,” comments Jabour. “But they have a choreographer who, for one of his pieces, requires the theatre to get very loud. So we had to be able to cover both extremes.”
“The K-array system helped us accomplish everything we set out to achieve,” says Benjamin Young. “The subtle reinforcement of a gentle orchestra is undetectable, and the intricacies of more modern electronic orchestrations are clear as can be, while powerful at the same time. I am certain that the majority of the patrons don’t even realize that they are there; they are the ninjas of speakers!”
“The key point in our original directive was that the speakers could not interrupt the aesthetic of the stage — and Talamas and Sennheiser worked with us to achieve that goal,” he adds. “All in all the system has turned out to be a huge success for us.”
The newly installed K-array system made its debut on March 1 with the opening of “Play With Fire.” The production features “Rooster,” choreographed by Christopher Bruce to the music of the Rolling Stones.
EAW®’s NTL720 Line Array and NTS250 Subwoofers, installed by Anderson Audio, tame the White House’s East Room with powerful sound for the President, First Lady and guests
Part of the annual “Black History Month” celebration, the event featured blues legends including B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi, Warren Haynes, Keb’ Mo’, Shemekia Copeland and others playing live for President Obama, who joined the ensemble for a verse of “Sweet Home Chicago”
Whitinsville, MA, USA, March 7, 2012 – On Tuesday, February 21, 2012, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama marked Black History Month at the White House with a celebration of that most American of roots music – the Blues. “In Performance at the White House: Red, White and Blues” brought together some of the greats of the genre, including B.B. King, Jeff Beck, Mick Jagger, duo Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi, Warren Haynes, Keb’ Mo’ and Shemekia Copeland for a once-in-a-lifetime concert. And another great American name was there too, making sure it all came together: EAW®, which has been the choice of Anderson Audio of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, a premier audio vendor in the Mid-Atlantic region, providing professional audio design, consultation and installation, and the long-time sound reinforcement provider for this auspicious series of concert events. The event was produced by public television station WETA; Ken Ehrlich, executive producer of The GRAMMY® Awards; and Robert Santelli, executive director of The GRAMMY Museum®, for AEG Ehrlich Ventures. Fortunately, many more than those present that evening got to experience the once-in-a-lifetime performance: the event was also broadcast on PBS on Monday, February 27, 2012, and was streamed live on http://whitehouse.gov and http://pbs.org, as well as aired to service members around the world via the American Forces Network.
The PA system consisted of two arrays of four EAW NTL720 Self-Powered Line Array Systems and four NTS250 Large Format Flyable Subwoofers per side, in the front of the 40-ft x 80-ft East Room. Other EAW products used included JF60z Compact Full-Range Loudspeakers for front fills and NT29 Self-Powered Full-Range Loudspeakers for out fills.
The PA system had its work cut out for it on this show. First, instead of the stage being located at one end of the long room, as is usual for most performances in the East Room, the stage for “Red, White and Blues” was set up along one of the long side walls, necessitating hanging the speakers from the lighting truss 16 to 18 feet up and angled sharply downward. This required the ability to widely and evenly disperse the sound. Secondly, the backline was an array of Marshall and Fender amps, two drum kits, a horn section and keyboards – in other words, it was going to get loud.
“This was the loudest show we’ve ever done at the White House,” recalled Chris Anderson, President of Anderson Audio (who has done sound for shows in the East Room since the George W. Bush Administration using EAW equipment), adding that the volume was measured at 105 dB during rehearsals. “We’ve worked with many of these artists in concert before, including Jeff Beck and B.B. King, and we knew they were going to play louder than the other concerts we’ve done in the East Room, so the PA had to sound good at higher volume levels than usual.”
But there were still more challenges: the room itself is highly reverberant, with plaster walls and parquet floors, and since the event would be televised, the sound system had to be nearly invisible. The PA system would have to address all of these issues and do it reliably and with the best sound possible. As Anderson recalled, “I needed low-profile, high-output enclosures with a wide horizontal dispersion pattern, and EAW provided the solution. There are many challenges involved in an event like this – we are shooting a TV show, and the sound system has to be effective in translating the energy and excitement of the show while not getting into any of the camera shots. Frequency response must be smooth and accurate to not interfere with the broadcast mix audio. The EAW system did it all.”
The volume was up there for the show, but, Anderson said, “No one winced. When a sound system sounds honest and real, volume is much less of an issue.” In fact, Ron Reaves, the FOH Mixer on the show, who had just come from mixing the GRAMMY Awards a week earlier, remembers President Obama stopping by during the rehearsal and being asked by an aide if it was too loud. “I knew that the President was going to be sitting literally 12 feet from Jeff Beck’s guitar amp, so when he was asked about the volume, I really wanted to hear what he said,” said Reaves. “The President said, ‘No, it sounds fine,’ so the sound got the Presidential seal of approval before we even started, which was great. The show went fine and sounded fantastic, and that’s what everyone was after.”
For more information, please visit www.eaw.com.
NATICK, MA, March 7, 2012 — Original music and audio post production house Earhole Studios in Chicago has installed a Genelec 5.1 Active DSP Monitoring System as part of an upgrade to surround sound mixing capabilities in Studio B. Concurrently, composer and engineer Eric Lambert acquired a Genelec SE (Small Environment) DSP Monitoring System for his home studio to enable him to seamlessly transfer projects between Earhole Studios and his home composition room.
The new 5.1 system in Earhole’s Studio B comprises five Genelec 8240A Bi-Amplified DSP Monitors for the front LCR array and rear surrounds, with a 7260A Active DSP Subwoofer. Lambert’s home 2.1 setup consists of an 8130A Digital Monitoring System plus an SE7261A Active DSP Subwoofer, which is designed specifically for use with the 8130A stereo pair.
Initial plans were for an aesthetic makeover of Studio B, which is one of three rooms at Earhole, says Lambert. “But we said, while we’re at it, let’s see if we can make some sonic improvements. We have surround capability in my composition room but that was being used primarily for music and we didn’t really have time to do mixes in that room. We wanted to move mixing to another room so we bought the Genelec 5.1 DSP system.”
Genelec’s AutoCal™ software, the industry’s first integrated process for automated measurement, analysis and adjustment of every monitoring loudspeaker in the control network, has been especially useful, according to Lambert. The system’s multiple setup capability, in particular, which allows the 5.1 Active DSP Monitoring System to be calibrated for several listening positions, has become very popular with Earhole’s clients, he says.
“If you’re sitting in the engineer’s position you have the monitors calibrated specifically for those two ears,” explains Lambert. “But we have a huge room with clients sitting all over the place. A lot of times they’ll be frustrated by the fact that when they’re listening to a surround mix it doesn’t seem focused on them. With that DSP, we can calibrate that sweet spot to those other positions. So you can set up multiple listening positions, expanding the flexibility of the system.”
He continues, “The clients love that it sounds better, but they’re also impressed that a company like ours has that technology. We’ve even had engineers from other facilities around town come in, guys who have been around a long time and really know what’s going on, and they have been really, really impressed. It blows some people’s minds that there is the technology to do that, and it makes Earhole look good, because they’ve never seen that anywhere else.”
The GLM.SE™ (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager for Small Environments) software and the extended AutoCal capabilities of the 7260A Active DSP Subwoofer have allowed Lambert to overcome some challenges in his home studio. “I’ve had a lot of acoustic issues in that room. There’s only so much I can get away with as far as sonic treatment goes. When you share a house with somebody else they don’t necessarily want it to look like a studio, so you make compromises. All of the other speakers that I’ve tried sounded okay but there were always some pretty big issues. But when I got to hear the Genelec DSP system in action at Earhole I realized it actually works. The following night after we got the DSP system installed at work I bought the SE system for home.”
The new SE setup ensures that projects translate accurately and consistently between the studio and his home, according to Lambert. “I’ll start a project at Earhole and have to finish at home, or get a call late, when I’m not at work, and decide to work on things at home. It’s nice to have a similar, consistent monitoring environment at home. They’ve really made all the guesswork go away.”
Lambert reports, “All of our rooms have Genelecs. The other two rooms have older Genelecs that we’ve had for several years. We have some other composers who work in other areas; a couple of them also have Genelecs. It was about 10 years ago that we bought our first pair, and we’ve been happy with Genelecs ever since.”
Tom Wiebe, co-owner of Wiebe Music, which was established in the early 1990s, opened Earhole Studios in December 2003, moving the business and staff, including Lambert, into a new location in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Simultaneously, the company made the transition from a jingle house into an original music and audio post production venture. Today, recent Earhole clients include Chrysler, UPS, Sprite, Motorola, Allstate, BP and MGD, among others.
For more information, please visit www.genelecusa.com/.
LONG ISLAND, NEW YORK – MARCH 2012: Although the universe of institutions that require professional sound reinforcement includes churches, schools, and other places that can make a sound integrator feel warm and fuzzy at the end of the day, it is also populated by places like the Yaphank Correctional Facility (YCF) on Long Island, New York. The new $133-million building will house 650 inmates when it is finally commissioned for operation in the spring of 2012. To deliver both routine and safety-related information, Pro Sound Alliance (Troy, New York) a division of Live Sound, Inc., provided a three-tiered redundant paging system centered on the (figuratively) bulletproof Ashly Pema™ powered processor.
The new YCF is designed around six “pods,” each of which will house one-hundred, or so, inmates in a way that maximizes the efficiency with which they can be guarded. Beyond the pods, common areas, food preparation quarters, medical facilities, etc. require dedicated paging zones as well. Pro Sound Alliance general manager Dominick Campana served as project engineer at YCF. “It was a little bit complicated, as we were a subcontractor to a subcontractor to a subcontractor to a prime contractor for the owner, Suffolk County Department of Public Works,” he laughed. “They were counting on our expertise to design and install a system that would deliver the functionality and performance required by the Sheriff’s department together with the architect and engineer’s specifications and concept drawing.”
He continued, “Acoustics are seldom addressed in such facilities. There are little or no absorptive surface materials. All of the speakers are hindered by heavy-duty vandal-proof hardware. The potential background noise is extremely loud. Most input signals are generated from telephone-quality paging and security systems. And so, with all that stacked up against me, I had to find a processor and amplifier capable of multi-layer priority ducking, matrix routing, extensive signal processing, and significant output power to make sure that all pages and announcements are heard loud and clear.” The Ashly Pema multi-channel amp with on-board Protea(tm) DSP processor met all of those requirements at a fair price-point and with Ashly’s reliability and support.
The system covers thirty-plus zones with one Ashly Pema 8250.70 and six Pema 4250.70s powering over 600 Lowell 805-T72 loudspeakers. Both Pema models provide full-blooded 8×8 DSP together with eight (8250) or four (4250) 250-watt amplifier channels in just two rack spaces. Three redundant paging systems at different priority levels provide input.
An industrial-grade Black Creek security intercom system provides top-priority paging: any Black Creek handset or computer-controlled announcement or alarm will immediately take control of the PA system. The most commonly used paging source occupies the second level – a comprehensive Stentofon IP telephone paging system with sixteen microphone stations located throughout the facility. Finally, built-in microphones and program sources at each of seven head ends provides the third-level input.
“We were introduced to the Ashly Pema through our extensive use of the Ashly ne24.24M modular DSP,” said Campana. “We love the flexibility, simplicity, and power of the Protea software platform. Moreover, Ashly’s ‘network-enabled’ equipment is vastly easier to use than other equipment in its class. Instead of opening up control panels, messing with ‘COMM-this’ and ‘PORT-that’ for two hours, the Ashly equipment plugs into the computer and just works.” While Campana says he welcomes that speed and simplicity at any job, it was especially important at YCF. “Getting in there for any changes will not be easy,” he laughed. “The process can take quite awhile! With the Ashly Pema in place, I was able to make efficient use of my time. It will be even trickier to go back for any updates or a service call when the inmates are in residence, so I’m glad, first, that the Ashly gear is so solid, and, second, that it’s so quick to work with in case I have to go back.” Campana reported that the sales support from Charlie Eaton at Eaton Sales and Marketing was exemplary.
Campana commissioned the system in the presence of prison officials and security system integrators. “They were stunned at how wonderful it sounded,” he said. “They’re not used to working with people from a true audio background. I wasn’t just trying to make the pages intelligible, I was trying to make them pleasingly so!” Where most security integrators might tap a loudspeaker at 0.5 or 1 watt, Campana leveraged the muscle of the Ashly Pema units to tap loudspeakers at between 5 and 7.5 watts. “I know that people are under the impression that there are tons of powerful amps out there,” he said. “But I defy anyone to come close to the Pema’s eight channels at 250 watts each with full DSP in just two rack spaces at the price point Ashly manages. It’s a godsend. It’s perfect.”
ABOUT ASHLY AUDIO With a greater than thirty-seven year history, Ashly Audio Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the design and manufacturing of quality signal processing equipment and power amplification for use in the commercial sound contracting and professional audio markets.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – MARCH 2012: Brussels-based Studio La Buanderie has recently installed a 16-channel API 1608 – a console that its owner and engineer, Pieter Apers, calls, “the holy grail in recording.” Apers purchased the fully-analog console through API dealer Amptec, who is credited with quickly bringing multiple 1608 consoles into Belgium.
“I have always been an audio enthusiast, so I have known about API for a very long time,” said Apers. But when I was choosing a console for my studio, I considered a number of alternatives. To be fair, some others offer deeper DAW integration and more bells and whistles than the 1608. However, when it comes to sound and sheer build quality there is no doubt – the 1608 stands high above the others.”
Apers founded Studio La Buanderie in his home eight years ago to fulfill a longtime more
Convention Gains Momentum with Clear Communications from Tempest Wireless Intercom
WASHINGTON, DC MARCH 7, 2012 ? Clear-Com, a global leader in critical voice communication systems, is pleased to announce that CMI Communications, a premier convention and meeting company delivering full production services and technologies, utilized Clear-Com’s reliable wireless intercom for the event production of the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Clear-Com’s Tempest2400 2.4 GHz wireless system proved to be an intercom solution above reproach, offering immaculate coverage and superb clarity in the RF hostile conference environment.
The Tempest2400 operated flawlessly to enable backstage communications for the production team at the CPAC venue. The four-channeled Tempest wireless beltpacks were employed by the show lead, technical director, and A2 to coordinate the smooth procession of high-level political figures and important speakers from the green rooms, the areas where they prepared for their presentation, to the large ballroom, where the speeches were given. Despite the RF saturated site, dense walls, and plethora of equipment, Tempest consistently provided a clear signal for the crew between the green rooms and main show floor.
“When it comes to wireless frequencies, the spectrum in Washington D.C is very crowded. With the number of television crews coming to the CPAC event with their own wireless systems, it would have been practically impossible for us to use a UHF communications system,” says Nathan Pocock, Audio Engineer, CMI Communications. “We were only considering a 2.4 GHz intercom and yet, several that we initially tried did not function well because of interference. However, because of the Tempest’s advanced RF technology, we had complete audio clarity and full wireless coverage in all our workspaces, even within that frequency band.”
2.4 GHz was an already congested band in the CPAC site with the huge number of consumer devices, wireless routers, and equipment from the hotel and broadcast crews that were operating in that range. Nonetheless, the Tempest2400, designed with Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology, utilizes a narrow band signal that is continually changing frequencies to powerfully burn through RF noise and interference, optimizing sound quality for CMI Communications. In addition, the 2xTX technology of the Tempest sends all voice communications data twice, one from each antenna, to further assure uninterrupted, high quality audio communications.
“There doesn’t seem to be another product like the Tempest2400 in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. The system is loaded with value-added features,” adds Pocock. “With most other products, the channels on the wireless beltpacks share a linked volume. Each channel on the Tempest2400 beltpacks, however, had its own independent volume so that you can control the levels for the talk and listen. Each beltpack was also customizable and the auto-nulling got rid of extraneous noise on the communication system. The Tempest is definitely a system I would use again in future productions.”
The 39th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, a project of the American Conservative Union, was held February 9th-11th, 2012. CPAC brought together thousands of grassroots conservatives and conservative leaders together for blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities to strengthen the conservative movement. CMI Communications coordinated the entire production for the 2012 CPAC, including lighting, video, audio, staging, design, along with communications, and has been doing so for nearly a decade.
Clear-Com, an HME company, is a global provider of professional voice communications systems since 1968. We develop and market proven intercom technologies such as Analog & Digital Partyline, Digital Matrix, Wireless and Intercom-over-IP systems for critical communication applications in broadcast, performance venues, military, government and enterprise markets. Recognized for our legacy of intercom innovations, production teams around the world have come to depend on Clear-Com for clear, reliable and scalable communications solutions. For more information, please visit www.clearcom.com.
About HM Electronics, Inc. (HME)
A privately held company founded in 1971, HME has continued to be a leading provider of innovative technology focused on enhancing productivity and customer service for multiple markets including pro audio, sports, and restaurants. HME developed the first wireless intercom system for pro audio and continues to introduce exciting, cutting-edge wireless intercoms that enhance communications, increase productivity and facilitate creativity for virtually any application. For more information, please visit www.hme.com.
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